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UCF Advisors Offer Tips for Timely Graduation

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By Danielle Hendrix, Central Florida Future

Spring graduation is fastly approaching, and graduating students are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but some will be left in the dark.

Before graduating, students are required to fill out an intent to graduate application and have it approved. According to the College of Health and Public Affairs' advising office, spring term is the most popular for graduation, and the office typically receives anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 intents to graduate. The College of Sciences advising office said it sees around 1,600 in the spring term.

However, each term, some students will be thrown off track with the news that they will not be able to graduate as expected. The COHPA advising office said that, depending on the term, anywhere from 50 to more than 100 intents will be denied. The COS office echoed this number.

"Anywhere from 2 to 8 percent of the students who file for graduation in a given term can be denied," said Chauntrice Riley-Stanford, a graduation coordinator for COS.

According to COS advising, there are many reasons for the denial of intent to graduate applications: failing or earning a grade lower than the minimum grade requirement for specific classes within a student's major; not completing UCF's minimum overall number of credits or its GPA requirement; not meeting Gordon Rule requirements or the minimum number of upper level credits required for graduation; and withdrawing from needed courses are some of the sticklers both students and advisors encounter.

Other reasons include missing major requirements, being a transient student in the intended graduation term and having outstanding transfer credit not posted to UCF records.

All of the graduation requirements for both the general university population and for each individual college are listed in the UCF catalog, and the advising offices are here to help students get on the right track for graduation.

The College of Science's website reminds students that they must not be attending another institution during their term of graduation, or they will not be approved for graduation from UCF. They must be enrolled at UCF during the term of graduation. If they do not need to earn additional credit to meet requirements for their degrees, they may request to be enrolled in IDS4999 at their graduation review appointment.

Students are also required to report all credit they have attempted or earned prior to completing their degree. If a student has completed courses at another institution and they do not appear on myUCF yet, the student must ensure that all transcripts are promptly sent to the UCF Registrar's Office.

Unusual circumstances can also inhibit graduation. Kelly Ward, a senior marketing major, said a friend of hers found out at the beginning of March that she cannot graduate this semester because she accidentally filed her intent to graduate for the Burnett Honors College instead of her own on myUCF.

"Now she has to wait until Aug. 2 to graduate, and has to either pay UCF tuition for one credit or take a class during the summer, even though she doesn't need any more classes," Ward said. "That's another way 'U Can't Finish.'"

Ward said that it can be difficult and confusing to find exactly what needs to be done in order for a student to graduate.

"It ends up being unfair to the student that they can't graduate on time because of something so trivial," Ward said. "Thankfully, the business advising office sends out emails about it way in advance."

To prevent a surprise delay in graduation, students should take heed to the details advisors provide, as well as track their courses and requirements intently to be sure they've completed them.

The COS website encourages students to verify that all personal and academic information in myUCF is correct and updated. Students should check to be sure their major, minor and any certificates are listed correctly, that their address and phone number are current and accurate, and that their Knights email is listed.

The COHPA advising office encourages students to meet with an academic advisor each semester and before each registration period to discuss appropriate class schedules.

"Students should log in into myUCF to review their degree audit and should schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to discuss deficiencies in their degree audit," COHPA advising said. "Students should meet with an academic advisor before they drop a class during their graduating term."

Finally, graduating students need to meet with an advisor for a final check of their degree audit and must plan their final term schedule before filing for graduation. They should also check their Knights email account for important announcements and updates.

Students can find their respective advising office and its contact information online on the UCF Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning's website, under Faculty Advisors.

Note: The original article used the spelling "adviser."

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